By Matthew Cookson
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William Morris: Poems of Protest

This article is over 9 years, 7 months old
William Morris was one of the most respected and admired decorative artists and writers in Britain in the 19th century.
Issue 2334

William Morris was one of the most respected and admired decorative artists and writers in Britain in the 19th century.

He was also a committed member of the Socialist League.

Like all good socialists, he organised—speaking at over 1,000 meetings. He also wrote regularly in socialist newspapers.

His Chants for Socialists and other revolutionary verse make up the centrepiece of a new collection published by Redwords. They were written to be performed to gatherings.

He marked events like the death of a worker after a vicious police attack and described how a small group of revolutionaries could become a majority. “This is the host that bears the word… A lightning flame, a shearing sword, a storm to overthrow.”

He looked back to the traditions of equality and beauty that he saw in the Middle Ages to criticise the horrors of his times. This collection helps to keep his “word” alive.

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